Friday, August 23, 2013

3D Aquaponics systems

3D Aquaponics systems

The internet is full of free resources to use in order to make your life easier. There are many reasons to download models rather than creating one from scratch. To save time, save money or even for testing lighting. As long as you follow the users rules, it is perfectly acceptable to download these models. Below an a linkto 3D aquaponics system

Step By Step Aquaponics Backyard

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (soil-less plant culture). Aquaponics is the ideal answer to a fish farmer’s problem of disposing of nutrient rich water and a hydroponic grower’s need for nutrient rich water. Essentially, aquaponics mimics every natural waterway on earth. It is used to grow food crops in a concentrated, yet sustainable manner.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to start an aquaponic system

Starting an aquaponic system


This experiment is an introduction into the functions and management of a small aquaponic system. Like a home aquarium, an aquaponic system requires special attention in the first weeks, since the microbial community in the water and in the plant boxes need some time to get established.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fish vs Liter vs Growbed aquaponics

How much space is required for an Aquaponics System?

Well that depends on how big a system you want to build and what you make the system out of.  We are always being asked how big a system do I need to feed a family of four - the answer is how much does a family of four eat! Consider, how many fish do you want and how many plants do you want to grow. A 1,000 litre (264 US Gallons) tank in your aquaponics system will support between 50 and 80 fish. That will support between 1,200 (317 US Gallons) and 1,800 litres (475 US Gallons) of grow beds taken that the grow beds are about 300 millimeter (12 inches) deep.
Fish vs Liter vs Growbed aquaponics
Fish vs Liter vs Growbed aquaponics

Day to day Aquaponics

Day to day handling of fish and plants in the aquaponic system


This experiment focuses on the day to day handling of fish and plants in your already established aquaponic system (please carry out experiments 1-3 of this teaching unit first). It gives you useful hints about monitoring the plants, the fish and the system as a whole.

Learning goals

  • Know what are the daily, weekly and monthly tasks when maintaining an aquaponic system
  • Know what is causing stress to fish and what to do about it
  • Be able to make a fish health check up by observing different body characteristics
  • Know what can make your plants ill and what to do about it
Day to day Aquaponics
Day to day Aquaponics

Yellow leaves in my Aquaponics

Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in an aquaponics garden, it is responsible for the yellowing of plant leaves. Furtunately, this Iron deficiency is also one of the easiest problems to fix: simply adding a small amount of Chelated Iron fertilizer at regular intervals is all that is needed.
Iron deficiency in an aquaponics garden is quite common. In aquaponics, unless you add additional sources for the nutrients, all nutrients that come into the system will come through the fish food. Not all trace elements are introduced in the fish food.

Aquaponics and iron magnesium calcium

One of the shortcomings for all aquaponics systems has been the ability to provide the systems with the right combination of trace elements to grow blooming plants. This is not to say that the nutrients in fish waste aren’t ample to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, beans, zucchini, etc. because we have been able to grow them. However . . . fish waste alone doesn’t produce ENOUGH iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium to continually grow large amounts of these blooming plants. This is one of the key reasons that aquaponics has been slow to commercialize. It’s a fact that greens (lettuce, basil, kale, etc.) can be grown in almost any aquaponics system very successfully in almost any climate. But the trick is to consistently grow blooming plants that produce multiple crops of (example) tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and beans on fish waste alone because the required blossoming-supportive nutrients are quickly stripped out of the water and blooming plants cannot continually blossom and grow plants that produce fruit/vegetables without adding chemicals because of nutrient deficiencies; fish waste alone does NOT produce ENOUGH iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium to continually grow blooming plants that produce food in aquaponics. 

Aquaponics iron,  aquaponics magnesium, aquaponics calcium
Aquaponics iron,  aquaponics magnesium, aquaponics calcium

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Aquaponics, ækwəˈpɒnɨks, pisciponics

Aquaponics Worms

How do worms survive in an aquaponic grow bed? Don’t they drown?

We have all seen worms crawling out onto the sidewalk after a soaking rain, seemly gasping for air. That they choose exposure to the sun and hungry birds to the water logged soil seems to tell us that worms don’t like soaking wet environments. And what is an aquaponics grow bed if not a soaking wet environment?
The difference with aquaponics worms is that they do not remain constantly full of water, but rather flood, and then drain. This allows for a “drying out” period between soakings that also encourages air circulation within the grow media.
This brings me to the most important reason why worms thrive within aquaponics: oxygen. The reason why those worms crawl from the soil to their death on the sidewalk is not because of the water, but because the water has forced the oxygen out of the soil. In aquaponics, however, not only does the flood and drain action pull oxygen into the grow bed media, but the water that is circulating throughout the system is highly oxygenated. In fact, I’ve found aquaponics worms thriving within my sump tanks!

Aquaponics Worms